White Velvet Sugar Cookies

from melskitchencafe.com

2 cups butter, softened

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

2 cups sugar

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 ¾ cups flour

**Update (3/23/09) – Ok, here’s the deal, I adapted the original recipe to include 1/4 cup more flour than the original recipe because my dough was so incredibly soft and sticky when I made it with just 4 1/2 cups. However, my Aunt Marilyn (a.k.a. cooking/baking mentor) made these with the 4 1/2 cups from the original recipe and she told me the dough turned out perfectly. She also lives in a humid climate and I live in a very dry climate so that could be a factor, as well as how the flour is measured. Basically, I’m letting you know this so you know there is a 1/4 cup leeway in the flour measurements. Use your best judgement based on how you measure flour and how your dough feels as you make it. Also, my Aunt added 1/4 teaspoon salt as a little pick-me-up to enhance the flavor.**

Cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add sugar, egg yolks and vanilla; mix well. Gradually add flour. The dough will be VERY soft; don’t worry, it gets firmer after chilling. Cover and chill two hours or until firm. Roll out on floured surface to ¼ inch thickness. Cut into shapes; place on greased baking sheets (or use parchment paper). Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until set (but not browned). Cool 5 minutes. Place on wire racks to cool. Frost as desired.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

**This frosting is my absolute favorite sugar cookie frosting. It doesn’t set-up and harden like some sugar cookie frostings – it stays very soft and gooey, perfect for sprinkling with colored sugar or nonpareils. I’m warning you, it is so fantastically delicious, it will ruin you. In a good way. Please don’t hate me for it.**

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1 ½ cups powdered sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Set aside. In another medium bowl, beat whipped cream until stiff peaks form (it helps to use a chilled bowl and chilled beaters – and make sure the peaks are stiff not soft). Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture and mix carefully (so as not to deflate cream) but well. Frost to your heart’s delight! (Be careful if adding coloring – the liquid food coloring found in the baking aisle can quickly thin your icing so you may need to add a bit more powdered sugar to compensate. I prefer to use Wilton’s gel coloring but either will work.)

Sugar Cookie Frosting

**This is my basic, go-to sugar cookie frosting and it is delicious – in a sugar cookie frosting way.**

1 cup butter, softened to room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt

4 cups powdered sugar

4-6 tablespoons milk

food coloring (if desired)

Combine butter, vanilla and salt and beat until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar in 1-2 cup increments until combined. Add milk and food coloring gradually until you reach your desired spreading consistency. Frost away!